Clippers still adjusting to NBA bubble peculiarities

first_imgBubble life is an adjustment for everyone, and something to be marveled at, said Rivers, whose Clippers (45-22) face the Dallas Mavericks (41-29) on Thursday (3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Prime Ticket) in a game that pits the Western Conference’s current second seed against the seventh. The Clippers will be without Patrick Beverley (sore calf) and Monterzl Harrell (away from the team).“It’s not just one or two people, it’s an entire league,” Rivers said. “It’s not just the players either, it’s the staffs, the NBA staffs, the officials. I mean, everyone has put their life on hold to do something they love, to do their job, but to do it right. … It’s tough. Every day you try to call a family member, FaceTiming, family FaceTime.Related Articles “But this whole virus, it’s a lot about self-control, self-discipline as well. I think not only has the league, but I think the players and everyone, they’ve followed through. We got to just keep trying to do that.”For his part, Zubac said the strangest part of it is sleeping so close to the enemy.“It’s just weird,” said the 7-foot center, whose double-double (18 points and 12 rebounds) in Tuesday’s loss to the Suns was his eighth this season, tying a career high. “After a game, you come back, you’re seeing the team you just played. If you lose or the other team loses, you get into your feelings you don’t want to see those guys. That’s the strangest thing to me is seeing all those dudes after the games just walking around.”But that’s not entirely unfamiliar, not for anyone who’s played AAU or, in his case, in a European championship event.“It’s super similar because everyone’s in the same hotel,” said the Clippers’ Croatian center, who was late arriving in the bubble as he recovered from the coronavirus. “You run into those guys every day. At the end of the day, you go to the gym, you play them, then you come back to the hotel, you see them in elevator, you see them in the lobby. I get that kind of a feeling that I’m with my national team. Everybody’s got to adjust to that. I think guys don’t have problems with it now.” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Three seeding games in, Ivica Zubac said he’s getting used to living and competing within the bizarro world of the NBA bubble, where your access to loved ones is strictly virtual but you spend a game banging against a guy and then go home and get in the same elevator with him.The NBA’s alternate reality is working, the league reminded everyone Wednesday. In another joint communication, the NBPA and NBA announced that, for the third consecutive week, no players tested positive for the coronavirus. Since July 29, the league conducted 343 tests of players, it said.Meanwhile, off campus, the virus continues to ravage communities, including in Florida, where state health officials reported Tuesday that 247 people died recently from complications related to the disease.“The NBA has done an amazing job, right?” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said before practice Wednesday, via Zoom. “They’ve been great. They’re on us. They’re making us wear our masks. We got these (wrist) bands here that we got to walk through and get registered. We get tested every day. We have to do a health app every day. The NBA is doing all the things that we need to do. We just got to stay on it. What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 “Our guys are dealing with it. They’ve never practiced this much in their lives. From a coach’s standpoint, I’m all good with that part, all right? They also have never been away from their families this much in their lives.”Rivers said he sees players walking into practice looking at their families through their phone, reading stories virtually, even having family meals together but apart, joining the dinner table from their hotel room via screen.“It’s not the easiest thing,” he said. “But it’s real, and they’re doing it.”Mavericks (41-29) vs. Clippers (45-22)When: 3:30 p.m. ThursdayWhere: Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FloridaTV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket, TNTcenter_img Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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